Hydroxypropyl distarch phosphate (mod... - Gluten Free Guerr...

Gluten Free Guerrillas

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Hydroxypropyl distarch phosphate (modified starch) - Yes, or No?



I'm getting some mixed info on 'starch' as a safe ingredient for coeliac, mainly as it's origin may be of questionnable source, i.e. wheat/gluten. The info I have gleaned is that if the product is marked GF, it's fine, but from my own experience it is not. I had some seed-based crackers yesterday (only seeds, no grains), and the ingredients included 'Hydroxypropyl distarch phosphate', which is basically modified starch from any number of sources including wheat. The product is made in Australia and imported to UK. It is labelled as GF and my knowledge of the Australian GF system is that no measurable gluten should be present (but don't know if that applies to their export products), but they do make gluten containing stuff also (I should have checked that first). I've emailed the manufacturer to see what's what, but I did have a reaction to this product that implies gluten cross contamination.

So question is: where do you all stand on the starch/modified starch business in gluten free foods? Do you have issues with this, or what's the standard line in your understanding?


Update: Interesting App find - isitglutenfreeapp.com/e-add.... Shows up this starch type (E1442 as 'forbidden')

6 Replies


It will be interesting to see if you get any reply from the manufacturers.

I’ve found that a lot of emulsifiers / thickeners (various E numbers) have a very bad effect on my gut, similar to the effects of gluten.

There have been some animal studies showing inflammation to the guts from certain emulsifiers, which seem be associated with problems such as Crohn's disease and microscopic colitis. It’s not much of a stretch to suggest that they could cause problems to a gut that’s already been damaged by Coeliac disease.

Interesting update!

Benjamin123 in reply to Penel

Yes, that's interesting regaring emulsifiers. I've read of a study in a Scottish uni underway at moment on emulsifiers and gut damage - they are actually researching eggs, as eggs are an emulsifier and how, in research on mice, seem to cause some GI damage.

The starch thing bugs me as this does feel like a coeliac reaction, which I have not had in a long time. I'm ok with some additives but tend to avoid them in the main.

That app is pretty interesting. It does not mess around in stating no to any starch.

Can you tolerate modified starch as an ingredient, or do you just plain avoid it?

Penel in reply to Benjamin123

I’ve never felt happy about the thought of eating modified starch, so have avoided it as much as possible.

Benjamin123 in reply to Penel

That makes complete sense, and a wise move.

Kim1950 in reply to Penel

I'm with you on this. Never touch the stuff if I can help it. Certainly never, ever consume modified starch without a modifyer, eg maize, rice etc. By the way the stuff in the header is made from tapioca starch which in itself is OK but when chemically modified is not too good for you. Interesting article here:


Benjamin123 in reply to Kim1950

Thanks Kim1950. That's a pretty scary read. I think additives in general are not good news. They're not the end of the world, but equally not a healthy addition to the diet. I think the starch I listed can come from a number of sources, one of which is tapioca. My concern is if it is from a wheat source. I've read conflicting information that if it's from a wheat source it has to be listed as so, but then other sources are telling me it doesn't have to be specified. I just wish we had clarity on these additives so we could make informed choices. Suffice to say I'll be avoiding it in going forward. Thanks again for the link.

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